Space Boffins

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Space Boffins'The Naked Scientists'? Based at Cambridge University, the Naked Scientists are a team of scientists, doctors and communicators whose passion is to help the general public to understand and engage with the worlds of science, technology and medicine.

Created and launched in 2001 by Chris Smith, the Naked Scientists was one of the first podcasts to exist and is now one of the world's most popular science shows, achieving over 50 million programme 'listens' in the last 5 years.


Space Boffins Show Archive:

Rockets in the Jungle

Tuesday 10th July 2018

It's the 7th anniversary of Space Boffins and Sue and Richard are joined by BBC Science Correspondent, Jonathan Amos - a guest on the very first podcast. Meanwhile, Richard reports from the new Ariane 6 launchpad being built at the European spaceport in French Guiana, and we meet the European Space Agency astronaut training with the Chinese. The team also get to the bottom of some mysterious Skylab space banter.

Magnificent Mercury: BepiColombo

Sunday 10th June 2018

Magnificent Mercury is in full focus. Space Boffins Sue Nelson and Richard Hollingham are at the National Space Centre in Leicester with BepiColombo mission scientists Professor Emma Bunce and Dr Suzie Imber. They also visit London's Science Museum to see the newly installed thermal spacecraft modelfor Europe's first mission to Mercury in October. Expect to hear from ESA's chief scientific advisor, Mark McCaughrean, the low down on a Soviet space toilet in Leicester, and hear why NASA astronaut Chris Hadfield is complete space shambles - in a good way of course...

Sampling an Asteroid

Friday 11th May 2018

Asteroid expert Professor Simon Green joins the Space Boffins to discuss missions to collect samples from space rocks and return them to Earth, and the perils of re-directing asteroids heading our way. Richard and Sue also chat to Romanian astronaut Dumitru-Dorin Prunariu about life on the first international space station, Salyut 6, and Europe's ambitious Mercury mission gets packed-up ready for launch.

Water on Mars

Tuesday 10th April 2018

After 2000 days on Mars, NASA's Curiosity rover is still going strong. In this month's Space Boffins Richard visits Imperial College London to talk to one of the lead scientists on the mission, Sanjeev Gupta, about water on Mars, life and future astronaut missions. Meanwhile, in Liverpool, Sue discovers the connection between the Beatles and space science, author Vix Southgate chats to Richard about Soviet space dogs and the words of Yuri Gagarin from orbit.

Killer Asteroids

Monday 12th March 2018

Could life on Earth be wiped out by a killer asteroid? The short answer is yes. This month the Space Boffins hear about a new European telescope to spot the threat before it's too late. Richard Hollingham and Sue Nelson are joined at the Royal Astronomical Society in London by Robert Massey and Helen Klus to discuss how astronomy could save the world. Richard also chats to NASA astronaut Steve Bowen who reveals what it will be like to live in the 'cramped' new Orion spacecraft and the perils of returning to Earth after a mission to the Moon or Mars.

Space, Boffins&Rock Stars

Friday 9th February 2018

Queen guitarist, rock star and astronomer Brian May adds some celebrity stardust and big hair on this month's podcast for the launch of the 2019 Starmus Festival. May talks about the essential humanity of a science, arts and music overlap and reveals that he's been quietly contributing to not one, but two space missions. Also on the podcast, Britain's first astronaut Helen Sharman discusses the future of orbiting space stations and Chris Welch bigs up the International Space University and explains why he has a Project Juno poster. Space Boffins Sue Nelson and Richard Hollingham are presenting the podcast from the British Interplanetary Society alongside Spaceflight magazine editor and former NASA engineer David Baker for an informed romp through space history to answer a listener's letter.

Zero G

Wednesday 10th January 2018

Sue bags a flight on Europe's 'Zero G' aircraft to experience microgravity. Back in the studio, Richard and Sue are joined by Libby Jackson from the UK Space Agency to discuss her new book on women in space. And the Boffins celebrate the era when Britain led the space race with the Skylark rocket.

Space Highlights of 2017

Monday 11th December 2017

Richard Hollingham and Sue Nelson are joined by space journalist Sarah Cruddas and rocket insurer, David Wade, to discuss 2017 and look ahead to 2018 in space. Featuring genetically engineered astronauts, Cassini and giant private rockets, it also includes the second part of our interview with Apollo 15 astronaut, Al Worden. He talks about his pioneering spacewalk, difficult homecoming, life after the Moon and reveals how he feels about his commander.

How To Leave The Planet

Friday 10th November 2017

This month, TV science presenter Dallas Campbell joins Sue and Richard to discuss how to leave the planet. The Space Boffins also hear from Apollo 15 legend Al Worden, who spent 3 days isolated in his space capsule around the Moon. And what better way to celebrate the film Contact than by following in the footsteps of Jodie Foster at the Very Large Array radio telescope in New Mexico?

Space Boffins Explore ESTEC

Tuesday 10th October 2017

Two astronauts and an Imperial Storm Trooper join the Space Boffins podcast from The Netherlands at the European Space Agency's ESTEC Open Day - where thousands of people can see the Agency's spacecraft testing facilities and meet the scientists and engineers involved in ESA space missions. Sue Nelson and Richard Hollingham catch up with ESTEC head Franco Ongaro; Europe's first woman on the International Space Station, Claudie Haigner; a Star Wars Storm Trooper otherwise known as Rosetta project scientist Matt Taylor; as well as the British-born NASA born astronaut Michael Foale and his plans to save the International Space Station.

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